The Art of Alaska’s Plastic Ocean

The Alaskan coast­line is one of the most stun­ning envi­ron­ments on earth. It’s a geo­graph­ic land­scape that lives up to its billing as “The Last Fron­tier.” Remote moun­tains rise from the sea and the wildlife is team­ing, but looks can be deceiving.

Plas­tic garbage con­tin­u­al­ly wash­es up on the beach­es, chokes wildlife, and lit­ters the ecosystem.

On June 6th– 13th 2013 the Alas­ka SeaL­ife Cen­ter sent out a team of sci­en­tists, artists, and film­mak­ers to doc­u­ment the increas­ing amount of plas­tic garbage wash­ing up in this “pris­tine” environment.

Sci­en­tists have been try­ing to warn the pub­lic about how the North Pacif­ic Gyre, a sys­tem of ocean­ic cur­rents, rou­tine­ly spews out dis­card­ed lighters, plas­tic bot­tles, shred­ded fish­ing nets, and oth­er detri­tus into this world-class ecosystem.

Now, artists are tak­ing a crack at it.

They call it the Gyre Expe­di­tion. And their intent is to turn ocean­ic pol­lu­tion from an abstract issue into an emo­tion­al issue by cre­at­ing art with the trash they find on the beaches. 

What do you think? Does Alaska’s plas­tic ocean con­cern you?

 You can watch the full video on Nation­al Geographic’s web­site